Some 500 tourism frontliners in Northern Palawan whose livelihood had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have received food packs from a group of entrepreneurs.

The food packs contain rice, canned goods, instant noodles, hygiene kits like soap and shampoo to help tide them over.

The recipients are boatmen, boat crew and helpers, tour guides, and van drivers from the towns of San Vicente, Coron, and El Nido, according to Kurt Everfresh of the All-Star Badminton Club (ABC) and the focal person of the project called “Palawan BayaniJuan.”

“We plan to distribute by next week in Balabac and Quezon towns while we continue to ask for additional funds or help from our community donors through Palawan BayaniJuan,” Everfresh told Palawan News.

We volunteered to reach out to help our displaced tourism frontliners through this initiative. We have our goal, however, even a small amount like P50 can go a long way to help our frontliners whose jobs were affected by this pandemic,” he added.

Among Palawan BayaniJuan’s beneficiaries was Jojo Monterde, a tour guiding veteran in El Nido, who said the care package he received is a big help now that he is out of work.

Monterde said due to COVID-19, he was unable to provide for his family. If he is earning little, it is from temporarily selling “kakanin” or Filipino snacks.

“Malaking bagay po ito sa amin dahil sa nangyaring pandemic at bigla na lang naging ganito tayo ngayon. Ako ay nagtitinda pansamantala ng kakanin para ibuhay sa aking pamilya, ang hirap talaga din pero kailangan maging matatag lang. Maraming salamat sa nagbigay nitong food relief,” Monterde said.